Where Subsidies Turn Into Liabilities

Law360, New York (March 8, 2011, 1:40 PM EST) -- State aid law is a concept that is unique to the European Union. State aid took center stage during the recent financial crisis, since EU member states effectively needed approval from the EU before granting rescue packages or other loans designed to assist ailing banks and companies.

In a nutshell, EU state aid rules prohibit governments and other public bodies from granting subsidies — or any other advantages — to companies without prior approval from the European Commission. (This concept is similar to the more familiar...
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